the first half of the day was spent calling asus tech support to see if the warranty on marco's italian purchase laptop was good in the US. good news: it's a global warranty, good everywhere; bad news: because it was purchased in europe, it's not eligible for free shipping.

i had to make 4 separate calls before i finally got answers to all my questions. the call center was not in america and getting an operator i could understand was hit or miss. the guy who originally issued me my RMA number was terrible. he got my e-mail address wrong so i never received the instructional message, and gave me the wrong RMA so when i called again they couldn't find my record. he was even trying to be coherent. the 2nd call was to fix the e-mail and get the right RMA. the 3rd call was to ask how they wanted my proof of purchase because the first guy told me i had to send it to an e-mail address. so you're assuming i have access to a scanner that can scan these receipts. but the 3rd operator told me that wasn't necessary because "all their records were inter-linked." what he didn't tell me was they knew the laptop was still under warranty because based on the serial number, they could tell when the computer was manufactured (july 2011) and it hadn't been a year yet. the 4th and final call was to ask about the free shipping which the laptop wasn't qualified for.

i continued with my knitting self-education. today i managed to knit a few rows after several failed attempts. i managed to get 3 rows done before i hit a roadblock; for some reason, each row gained an additional stitch, so i must've done something wrong. at this point i'm pretty good at casting though, using the long tail (sling shot) cast on. once i can knit a square successfully i'll be pretty happy.

a private open house on wednesday, and all of yesterday and today people were still showing up. these were the serious buyers, because i recognized a few from the original open house. there was even a woman who would stand on the street corner and look at the house; she came more than once because i saw her doing the same thing yesterday. i wanted to go out and tell her it wasn't worth it. that house might face cambridge, but 90% of it sits in somerville. none of the prospective buyers took interesting enough that i'd want them to be my new neighbors. the kind of people who can afford that place must be rich, and everyone knows rich people make lousy neighbors.

marco came home around 6:30, early for a change, soaked from the rain. he asked if i was cooking anything tonight, and said he wanted to make some risotto. we went next door to star market (his first time) to look for a few missing ingredients: soup bouillons and shredded parmesan cheese. he took a quick shower before cooking. instead of risotto rice, he was attempting to use brown rice. instead of unsalted butter, he only had the salted variety. and instead of saffron (which they don't carry at little star), he used turmeric (known as poor man's saffron). into the pot also went grounded italian sausages hand-stripped of their casings. brown rice takes a long time to cook and doesn't fluff up like risotto rice. also, bouillons + salted butter + parmesan + sausages was a quadruple salty mixture. marco apologized for the crispy risotto but we both finished our plates anyway.

marco was trying to invite this italian girl he met at MIT to come join us for a day of biking and exploration tomorrow. he spent such a long time composing a suitable text message that his wrists hurt later. she responded some time afterwards, said she was hanging out with another friend. don't give up marco!